“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Inconvenient News: 50% Fewer Iraqi Deaths in September

This will make for some interesting times. Maybe I will watch the next Democratic Presidential debate. If it continues it will certainly favor Hillary Clinton over Obama. It certainly cannot hurt the Republicans. Could there be a Republican dark horse out there?


Violence and civilian deaths drop in Iraq
By Felix Lowe and agencies
Last Updated: 8:46am BST 01/10/2007 Telegraph

The number of civilians killed during violence in Iraq dropped by almost 50 per cent in September, US figures reveal.

Violence during Ramadan also dropped by almost 40 per cent from last year, despite warnings from al-Qa'eda that it would increase operations during the Muslim holy month.

The Pentagon figures also show 72 American military deaths last month, the lowest monthly figure since July last year, when Washington poured an extra surge of 30,000 US troops into the war-torn country.

The US figures showed that 884 Iraqi civilians were killed in September, which was the lowest level recorded this year and down from 1,773 in August.The number of injured civilians was also down to 850 from 1,559.

Officials also announced that US and Iraqi forces had killed more than 60 insurgents and militia fighters in intense battles over the weekend.

"Coalition forces have dealt significant blows to al-Qa'eda Iraq in recent months, including the recent killing of the Tunisian head of the foreign fighter network in Iraq and the blows struck in the past 24 hours," military spokesman Col Steven Boylan said.

A US soldier, however, became the 72nd victim in Iraq this month after he was killed by gunfire in east Baghdad yesterday.

The overall toll of American losses since the March 2003 invasion now stands at 3,803.

US military officials attributed the reduction of violence during Ramadan to the change of strategy of moving troops out of large bases and into smaller combat zones.

September figures were also not skewed by large individual terrorist attacks, such as the massive truck bombings which killed 411 people in the minority Yazidi community in northern Iraq on Aug 14.


  1. Someone is tweaking Blogger. It was not I fooling with the alignment.

  2. Maybe they are noticing:

    Iran ready to work with US on Iraq

    By Roula Khalaf and Najmeh Bozorgmehr in Tehran

    Published: September 30 2007 19:05 | Last updated: September 30 2007 19:05
    Iran is ready to help the US stabilise Iraq if Washington presents a timetable for a withdrawal of its troops, Tehran’s top security official said on Sunday.

    In an interview with the Financial Times, Ali Larijani, head of the Supreme National Security Council, which answers to Ali Khamenei, the supreme leader, rejected Washington’s accusations that Tehran is providing weapons to Iraqi militias, insisting the trouble with Iraq was that the US administration was pursuing a “dead-end strategy”.

    Mr Larijani maintained it was time world powers realised Iran’s nuclear progress could not be reversed and that they should enter into negotiations with Tehran without preconditions.

  3. Here is a depiction in oil by a member of a true 'secret society' of what they considered might happen at death.

  4. Bosch seems to have been a member of the Brotherhood of Our Lady, but it is also thought he may have been a member or a men's secret society, the details of which are lost to time, like all good secret societies.

  5. Good, but monthly figures are erratic and may, or may not, mean something. The emphasis on fighting Al Qaida in the article is diversionary since AQ has never been much more than the icing on the cake. See this DNI article for a rather unrosy view of long term trends The urge to surge.

  6. BOBAL: Bosch seems to have been a member of the Brotherhood of Our Lady, but it is also thought he may have been a member or a men's secret society, the details of which are lost to time, like all good secret societies.

    That makes Larry Craig's restroom one a bad secret society.

  7. The "Dark Horse" is not General P, but victory.

    Those troops home for the 4th of July parades. The are a sign of success, not failure.

    None of the chickhawks or the jingoists want to admit it, but neither do the pacifists.

    Now we are in a situation where neither side of the aisle, in DC, will admit to success.

    But the seeds of a perception of success are there, they just need to be nutured.

  8. A little more then 2 US Soldiers a day KIA is success, a favorable trend? Joy o Joy lets start a parade.

  9. Sure, ash, when the current count is down from five a day.

    Goes back to the definition of success.

    Losing two soldiers or policemen a day, surely signs of civil strife, granted that.

    But not an indication of a war.

    Or is there an ongoing civil war in Pakistan, today?
    If we averaged the Pakistani Army losses in the Tribal Areas, bet it'd be over two a day.

    Or is that conflagration merely internal strife, not amounting to Civil War?

    Success in Iraq can be described as handing the battle and the security mission on the streets of Iraq to Iraqis. Has been in the past, it is a consistently stated US Goal Post
    "We stand down as they stand up"
    Not eliminating the strife that causes the violence. That is not a militarily achievable goal.

    A real Civil War could wage in Iraq, and it would still be a US success. But there won't be a Civil War, just some continued sectarian cleansing of Baghdad neighborhoods and Regions.

    Could be real fighting in Kirkurk

    The Regional "flash point" until an outcome acceptable to the Kurds is reached.
    Which will be tough to achieve.

    To the victor go the spoils.

  10. For what it is worth, a total of 575 servicemen and women died in accidents worldwide during the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30, 2004.

  11. ...and pulling all the troops out will get US pretty close to zero a day. Loads of success! Onward successful soldiers!

  12. Accidents alone once totaled more than that plus Iraq!

  13. Almost two a day.

    There is a mortality rate for the military age demographic.
    Researched it once, the mortality rate for the military personnel was lower, including combat deaths, than for their civilian peer group.

    Higher mortality rates amongst students than soldiers.
    Lifestyle choices more than anything else. Many fewer accidental deaths in the military group, per capita. Living in a more controled enviorment, where force protection and accident prevention are paramount.

  14. Bad news from Westhawk:
    Most Negative Post of his I've seen.
    Note decrease in recruit quality, and need to replace ALL Hardware!

  15. That aQ is whipped is out news, doug.
    In mid-August General Odierno spoke with the NYPost staff and told them that aQ was no longer his primary concern. After a signifgant portion of the local population had turned on them, and local autonomy was being granted the local tribal leaders.
    Local policing and the like.

    The Game in Iraq has moved on, yet again.

  16. I forgot what he said was the New No. 1!

  17. Ash forgot the meaning of "Trend."

  18. The replacement factor is a "good thing", doug.

    Write the currently deloyed equipment off.
    Then hand it off as we leave.

    Makes leaving easier, quicker.

    Part of the rapid reduction planned, post Iraqi Elections 2009.

    Drop from 100,000 troops on Inauguration Day to a presence of around 75,000 for the Iraqi parliamentary election near the end of 2009.

    Then rapid redeployment, leaving the "written off" equipment for the Iraqi to utilize.
    They'll make it work

    General P comes back to DC in March, declares greater success.
    More moderation on the ground.
    Further withdrawal is possible.

    It a good victory scenario,
    Troops home for Christmass and then the Victory Parades on the Fourth of July and again, on Labor Day.

    Rolling into the Election, winners

    Can see it, plain as day.
    Could easily be a mirage ...

  19. He is the MNF Combatant Commander, that makes him #1.
    General Simmons, his #2, echoed his sentiments.

    You provided the General Simmons link @ HH.
    Ralph Peters reported the Odierno briefing.

    If we were not winning, we'd not be leaving.
    Success is not continual deployment, nor is it to leave in a rout.

    All the GOP needs is a spinmiester with cajones.

    Watch for Rudy to declare Iraqi victory after General P's briefing in March, while the world wide struggle continues, as the Jihadists make war on US in other locales.

    It could work, fickle as the public is, spin a new Iraqi perception in seven or eight months, with over a year of troop withdrawal news.

    More than doable

  20. Hey!
    Then they'll need US instead of the Ruskies for spare parts.
    More leverage!
    Free Oil is at hand!

  21. But what did General B.O. say was the new No. 1?

  22. "All the GOP needs is a spinmiester with cajones. "
    That AIN'T Bush!
    Trish'll spin it as Chickenhawk Masterbatory Behavior.
    Hawks with Chicken Dicks.
    I know about the library and kids and all, but I GOTTA respond to all posters.
    Only responsible thing to do.

  23. "Hawks with Chicken Dicks."
    Hell of a Graphic!

  24. Political nation building, economic development yada yada ...

    He mention Basra as being problematic but General Simmons said the reports of anarchy in Basra were fabrications.
    That the Iraqi Security Forces met the standards, were well trained and equipped.

    The Brits that were in the Palace, an equal redeployed to the border when the Basra Palace guard duty was handed to Iraqis.

    Violence in the city remains in a "lull", as the Brit Commander described it two weeks ago.

    Success, as described by Mr Cheney, Ms Rice and Tony Blair, last Feb.

    All the parts are there.
    Embrace the distasteful realities and claim success, the fulfillment of the Authorization.
    With the second election, how much more emergance do we need, to fulfill the whereas of the Authorization?

  25. "Carol Anne Gotbaum lived in a townhouse on the Upper West Side. She had been married to Noah Gotbaum for 12 years. She was a native of South Africa and the daughter of the retired naval commander. Her father-in-law is Victor Gotbaum, the retired labor leader.

    The medical examiner in Phoenix is conducting an autopsy.

    That B..... was crazy!

  26. This comment has been removed by the author.

  27. The EMERGANCE of a non-Chickenhawk Big Dick is called for:
    Rudy '08!
    Trish will disagree, as always, but Rudy's a Veteran of Both the Mafia and Marital Wars!

  28. "The Five Points Gang, led by Italian immigrant, Paolo Antonini Vaccarelli, also known as Paul Kelly and his second in command, Johnny Torrio, was the most significant street gang to form in the United States, ever! Johnny Torrio, who became a significant member of the Sicilian Mafia (La Cosa Nostra) recruited street hoodlums from across New York City to the Five Points Gang. The Five Points Gang became the Major League to many young street gangsters and a farm club for the Mafia. The most notorious recruit into the Five Points Gang was a teenaged boy of Italian descent who was born in Williamsburg, Brooklyn in 1899 to immigrant parents. His name was Alphonse Capone, better known as Scarface. He became a member of the James Street Gang, which was a minor league of sort, to the Five Pointers. One of Capone's childhood friends, and fellow member of the Five Points Gang, was another street thug named Lucky Luciano. "

  29. Another point often missed:
    Britain is fully committed to the WOT, when their deployment in Afghanistan is considered:
    Higher per capita than us, in Toto, I think, counting both campaigns.

  30. How many Canucks are now in Afghanistan?

  31. The "lull" when the Brits left, folks quit shooting at them.

    The Mahdi Army fellows must be following instructions, and stood down.

    Moving from bulletts to ballotts
    Success, again!

    Prepping for the '09 Iraqi Election.

    Mr Bush stays the course, Rudy declares Victory Iraq, makes the timeline withdrawal proposal.

    Steady but slow withdrawal, then a rapid redployment. Gone by 2010.

    Quicker then building a fence.

  32. Death by IED is not usually considered a 'normal' cause of death when examining normal mortality rates of military folk, so, of course the 2 a day figure is above and beyond the baseline death rate.

    James Wolcott has an interesting post up on the drive to war with Iran. I think DR will find it particularly interest because of the references to War Authorization wordings.

  33. The situation today
    The CF contribution to Afghanistan consists of approximately 2,500 personnel from units across Canada and is referred to as Joint Task Force Afghanistan (JTF AFG). The CF efforts in Afghanistan are subdivided into three distinct missions that work in concert with each other and have the same overarching goal of improving the security situation in Afghanistan, and assisting in rebuilding the country. The three missions currently underway are:

    Op ATHENA - The Canadian contribution to the UN-sanctioned and NATO led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) currently has 2,500 CF personnel committed to Op ATHENA.

    Op ARCHER – Consists of embedded CF staff officers at the Combined Security Transition Command – Afghanistan (CSTC-A) in Kabul and a few liaison officers at Bagram Airfield supporting Operation ENDURING FREEDOM (OEF) as well as a small cadre of CF instructors involved in the training of the Afghan National Army (ANA) at the Canadian Afghan National Training Centre Detachment (CANTC Det) in Kabul. The current Canadian contribution to Op ARCHER consists of about 30 CF personnel.

    Op ARGUS - The Strategic Advisory Team to the government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan currently has 15 Canadians working in Kabul in support of Op ARGUS.

    Operation ATHENA: The Canadian Forces contribution to the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF): approximately 2,500 CF personnel
    Overall, 2,500 CF personnel support the ISAF mission. CF personnel deployed as part of OP ATHENA comprise the following units (all figures approximate):

    A Battle Group in Kandahar, primarily the 3rd Battalion, Royal 22e Régiment (3 R22eR) from the 5e Group-brigade mécanisé du Canada (5 GBMC), which includes:
    Soldiers from the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Battalion, Royal 22e Régiment based out of CFB Valcartier, as well as various Reserve units;
    An engineer squadron from 5e Régiment du génie du combat (5 RGC) in Valcartier;
    An artillery battery from 5e Régiment d’artillerie légère du Canada (5 RALC) in Valcartier;
    An armoured reconnaissance troop, from The Royal Canadian Dragoons (RCD) in Petawawa and 12e Régiment blindé du Canada (12 RBC) in Valcartier; and
    A Leopard tank squadron from the Lord Strathcona's Horse (Royal Canadians) (LdSH(RC)) in Edmonton, Alberta;
    A Tactical Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (TUAV) unit comprised primarily of personnel from 438 Tactical Helicopter Squadron (438 ETAH) based in St-Hubert, Quebec, and members from 5 RALC in Valcartier;
    Health Service Support (HSS) personnel at the Multinational Medical Unit (MMU) at Kandahar Airfield comprised of personnel from 5e Ambulance de campagne (5 AMB C) in Valcartier, 1 Canadian Field Hospital (1 Cdn Fd Hosp) in Petawawa, and other Health Services units from across Canada;
    About 300 CF members with the National Command Element (NCE) at Kandahar Airfield. The NCE is primarily composed of personnel from 5 GBMC in Valcartier;
    About 300 CF members with the National Support Element (NSE) in Kandahar, primarily from the 5e Bataillon des service du Canada (5 BNS) in Valcartier;
    About 30 CF members with the Multi-National Brigade (MNB) Headquarters including Canadian Deputy Commander, Brigadier-General Marquis Hainse are assisting British Major-General Jacko Page in accomplishing his mission and exercising command and control over the MNB Regional Command (South) in Afghanistan;
    In Kabul, about 50 CF personnel at ISAF Headquarters, 15 personnel with a smaller NSE Detachment and 15 personnel working at the Strategic Advisory Team (SAT) who work closely with at the Canadian Embassy;
    250 CF members with the Theatre Support Element (TSE) in Southwest Asia.
    Operational Mentor Liaison Teams (OMLT)
    The Canadian Operational Mentor Liaison Teams (OMLT), commanded by Col Stephane Lafaut, advises, mentors and assists the senior leadership of the Afghanistan National Army (ANA) in their capacity building. This professional development initiative enables the ANA to help secure peace and stability in Afghanistan and extend the legitimate authority of the Government of Afghanistan.

    Currently the OMLT consists of approximately 150 Canadian Forces members, primarily from LFQA and various other units across Canada, who are assisting and helping influence and shape the mentoring and training of approximately 1000 ANA soldiers. These ANA soldiers form the 1st Brigade, 205 Corps at locations throughout Kandahar province and are broken down into three Kandaks (battalions) consisting of about 350 soldiers each. The overall objective of the OMLT is to progressively bring the ANA to a level where it can independently plan, execute and sustain operations to provide military security for Kandahar province. The OMLT, therefore, assists in providing the people of Afghanistan with the hope for a brighter future by helping Afghans establish the security necessary to promote development and an environment that is conducive to the improvement of Afghan life and help Afghanistan become a self-sufficient society.

    On May 15, 2007, the OMLT took over the responsibility for the mentorship of the 1/205 Corps of the ANA from the United States Army during a Transfer of Authority (TOA) parade in Kandahar City. The US, UK, and Dutch are also involved in mentoring the ANA in RC (South) including in both Kandahar and Uruzgan provinces.

  34. Rush basks in the ratings bump!

  35. "Death by IED is not usually considered a 'normal' cause of death when examining normal mortality rates of military folk, so, of course the 2 a day figure is above and beyond the baseline death rate."
    But below the College Frat Boy Binge Drinkers (like Cutler) which was 'Rat's point.
    Jeeze, Ash!
    You need a light!

  36. Have not listened to Rush in years, but he always said he'd do better with the Dems in charge.

    He may well. Rallying to the flag, the old time Standard Bearer, in times of distress and disarray.

    Tarnished though he may be.

    Soldiering on

  37. I'll do the maths in the morning, 'Rat, if you neglect same.

  38. One thing Rush's got going, is he's NEVER besmirched the troops.
    More than plenty of Neocons can say.
    ChickenhawkDick or not.

  39. No ash, the baseline of per capita deaths combat and non combat combined is lower for the military personnel than it is for civilians in the same democgraphic.

    It safer to be a Marine than a University student, statisticly.

    When Jr went to Iraq, Fallujah '04, I did some serious research into it.
    Reality sparked my interest.

    Doubt if basic data has changed since then.
    Non-deployed military life is very controlled and measurably safer, when compared to their civilian peers.

    Even the two a day in Iraq, it was higher in '04, over the capita of 1.5 million military does not over come the higher accidental death rates amongst the civilians.

  40. Hell, Deuce, I could place a red Circle around THAT in Paint Shop Pro 4!
    (which I still use and love!)
    "Latest" Photoshop is 7, still use 4 too!

  41. In Photoshop, you could copy "that" area, then place a labeled CLOSE Up view in one of the corners.

  42. Marine accuses Murtha of falsely accusing him.

  43. Whole affair is SOP as far as Officer Al is concerned.

  44. So are you really trying to say a deployment to Iraq has very little danger to it? Why take the risk of drinking yourself to death at university when you can bask safely in the warm sands of the Iraqi desert?

    I'm sure stuck causality rates into your stats machine things wouldn't look so rosy to you.

  45. Heck, things are so peachy keen in Iraq right now we might as well roll on and take out the Mullahs in Iran while we so close by making such nifty improvements in the neighborhood.

  46. "I'm sure stuck causality rates into your stats machine things wouldn't look so rosy to you."
    Please translate into American English!

  47. Don't Forget:
    Drinking Drivers take out innocents too.
    Just like War,
    only different.

  48. Causality rates include injuries as opposed to just counting the dead - you know those folks without all their body parts after an IED goes off?

  49. Oh!
    CASUALTY Rates!
    You Canucks might try proper spelling for a change!

  50. yah, I suck at speelling and grammar even when the spell check cheques it.

  51. 2164th, you really should do a headline post on the stuff linked in that Wolcott post. I think it requires debunking somehow. Especially this post by Arthur Silber (one of the links in the Wilcott post).

    We really aren't an

    An Empire of Clowns. What a ridiculous, sickeningly homicidal, disgusting nation we've become.?

    are we?

  52. THAT'S a "Chicken" Dick.

    NOW, I'm Pissed!

  53. From the headline story on Drudge:

    "With no power base of his own, Zubkov would likely play his preordained part in any Putin plan. If he became presiodent and Putin prime minister, Zubkov could be expected to cede specific powers to Putin or step down to allow him to return to the presidency. If he becomes prime minister, Putin would be first in line to replace the president if he is incapacitated."

    Polonium-290 can be quite incapacitating.

  54. Well, wouldn't you know it, and we all knew it around here Putty Seeks To Hold On To Power In Russia

    I'm not sure about the United States but I think it could be said they got some 'Skull and Boners' going good in Russia.

    Kasparov! Kasparov!

  55. Good grief Ash, is that Canadian weed that strong?

  56. Let's recall what we have done. We put Tojo and Hitler in their place, we have supported a democratic Japan and Germany, we have good--great--relations with the countries of the European Union. We are not the bad guys, Ash.

  57. bobal, many in the world outside the US notice the large number of US bases scattered across the world. The US has not been shy about waging aggressive war in the past. As DR likes to note - to the victors go the spoils. I'm looking for better reasons to debunk that kind of opinion then "good grief".

  58. That last post bobal was a move in the right direction. Care to take a trip to the Middle East? Africa? Indonesia? You might encounter a little more hostile reaction there then in, say, Europe.

  59. Europe Votes. I almost said, Europe Votes, moron, but I didn't.

    Ash, alot of times you don't make any sense. Africa would be a lot better off if they took up American, or Canadian, ways.

    I'll see ya
    In Rhodesia.....

  60. This comment has been removed by the author.

  61. Why shouldn't the victors in the electoral process enjoy the fruits of their victories, ash?

    700 over seas bases, there abouts, last I looked into it.

    Expanding all the time, we are Globalists now, that we are.
    Spending more than everyone else combined on guns, boats and air planes.

    But then we do not not use the stuff.

    An Army on Parade

    Fourth of July
    Victory Celebrations!
    Put on an October Suprise, in July.
    Settin' the stage for Phase II.

    The Hunt for Osama,
    the blood feud vendetta begins.
    Bet on the Roman.

    Johnny be marchin' home again
    Hoorah! Hoorah!

  62. What does Giuliani propose? He intends to practice unified action from the top down. "The task of a president is not merely to set priorities but to ensure that they are pursued across the government." In my view that means changing bureaucratic cultures, starting with the State Department, Treasury and other key federal agencies. It also means creating an "expeditionary" corps of problem-solving diplomats, economic advisers and developmental experts that deploy as readily as U.S. military forces.

    That's a revolution, indeed.


  63. I'd like to ask, why, when the Soviet Bear finally retreated from eastern Europe, did all those countries, almost without exception, opt immediately to try and join NATO and the western world?

    Ash, 500 words or less.

    They wanted to join up with Big BullY USA? And get bullied?

  64. naw, they want the Amreican Dream "money for nothin' and the chicks for free"!

  65. Trish and Ash:
    Always a well-documented opinion, w/links!

  66. Doug,

    Check out the Fire and Pain post of Wolcotts for tooonnnns of links.

  67. According to Andrew Kohut, Pew Research. The latest Global Attitudes survey shows that the US is well regarded throughout Africa, except of course, by the Arabs.

  68. Also, if I am not mistaken US and India relations have never been better. We also seem to be working it out with China, France, Germany and even the new conservative government in Canada....It seems to me that the problem areas are governing by paranoid leftists. Not exactly the kind of people you would wish to be associated with anyway.

  69. The Hell we don't!
    Unless the Arabs and Commies Love us, it PROVES we're F......!
    Why do Ash and Trish read Moonbat Walcott?
    Actually, makes sense for Ash, but Trish insists she's not a Liberal!
    Go Figure!

  70. The issue isn't really one of "popularity" but rather one of morals and global domination through coercion.